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People often come to us when they have an important speech or presentation to deliver. They might want to improve their confidence, content or style so they make the most of their time in the spotlight.
But the impact of our training goes way beyond delivering a compelling one-off talk. Here’s what our clients say about some of the not-so-obvious benefits to becoming a better public speaker.
The confidence people develop as part of our training isn’t only relevant for conference halls or formal presentations – it’s useful for all spoken word situations. A participant told us how she’d applied one of the spontaneous speaking principles she learned with Ginger when she had to fire a member of staff. “It helped me to express myself clearly and stay cool where I felt really emotional, in a tricky situation,” she said, “and it meant I was able to quickly return to other activities, rather than dwelling on a difficult conversation.”
Most people never get any feedback on how they present themselves, so they are unaware of how their approach to public speaking could be impacting on their careers. An IT executive client realised “I’d been undermining myself at work because I was reluctant to express my views just to keep the status quo. What I was actually doing was diminishing my visibility AND my status. Thanks to the training with Ginger, I learned how to confidently express myself - and rather than rock the boat, people’s perceptions of me improved. Not long after that, I won a significant promotion.”
One of the most common faults in public speaking is having too much to say! When you try to cram in multiple messages or reams of data, nothing really stands out – it’s like a forgettable all-you-can-eat buffet rather than a stunning gourmet dish. “I had so much information I wanted to get across that I ended up confusing and overwhelming people,” said the founder of a social enterprise on our TED-style speaking programme. “When I let go of the waffle and focused on one main message, it transformed the impact I had. It means we are getting significantly more supporters and investment because we now have a really clear ask.”
A group of senior lawyers we worked with all historically avoided speaking opportunities. “When you’re a perfectionist like me, you don’t want to put yourself into a situation where something might go wrong,” said one participant. “As I learned some simple tools from Ginger, I realised that it’s better to put myself forwards so I could practise - and that’s exactly what I’ve done. In the past month, I’ve hosted a conference ‘fire-side chat’, sat on two panels, delivered a webinar and taken a more active role in client meetings. Next step is a slot at our partner conference.”
It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to fit into a blueprint leadership communications style because that’s what’s familiar and safe. The result? A bland, vanilla approach that doesn’t resonate or inspire anyone. One managing director of a consultancy firm had repeatedly kept her fiery personality and passion in check until she worked with Ginger. “I have stopped comparing myself to others. I now know what my leadership style is and I’m not afraid to show it! The change has sparked all kinds of interest in what I have to say and I’ve even been asked to take my talk on tour.”
A sales director for a fintech company had lost her mojo when it came to public speaking. She knew there was something missing, but she wasn’t sure what it was. “That all changed on Ginger’s Leader’s Voice programme. I realised it wasn’t enough just to deliver a factual talk, I needed to really care about what I was speaking about. With a strong purpose behind my message, it’s re-ignited the fire in my belly and helped me to realise why I do what I do.” Knowing your ‘why’ means the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of public speaking fall into place much more easily.
People often shy away from telling stories because it makes them feel vulnerable, or because they think it undermines their credibility. But storytelling builds a stronger human connection with the listener and can transform dry material into a captivating narrative. A pharmaceutical client we worked with said: “I never really saw myself as a storyteller, I didn’t know where to start. But after I learned Ginger’s Hero’s Journey structure, I could see how to influence through stories in a way that’s really natural. I tell stories every day now - to clients, to colleagues - I can see how it helps them to understand and buy into my perspectives.”
With greater confidence and clarity of self-expression, comes the ability to improve negotiations and shift negative ‘power’ dynamics. We worked with a company director who was dealing with a stakeholder who adopted manipulative and intimidating tactics to force their point of view. “Now I’ve developed the confidence to know and speak my own mind, I’m considerably more assertive and able to negotiate when there are conflicting points of view. It helps me to prioritise, so that I can get the job in hand done, rather than being knocked off course by other people’s agendas.”
It’s easy to become very inwardly focused when you are gearing up for public speaking, worrying about what you are going to say, how you’ll come across, what to wear, where to stand etc. But shifting the focus to serving the needs of the listener is a powerful technique that can relieve the nerves and produce far better results. A participant said: “I was particularly struck by one of Ginger’s principles around ‘Servant Speaking’. When I realised that my job as a speaker is to think of others, not obsess about myself, it was a ‘click’ moment that helped me in so many situations. Now I know that the best way to achieve my own aims, whatever they are, is to put myself in the mind of the person I’m trying to influence - and to serve them, rather than ‘battle’ them.”
When you become a compelling speaker, it’s not only the audience in the room that will remember you. It can sky-rocket your visibility and open all sorts of doors. This was certainly the case for a senior leader who completed one of our leadership programmes. “Since I began public speaking, people started coming up to me and telling me how my work had influenced them in some way,” she said. “I was initially taken by surprise that people wanted to hear more about what I have to say and I suddenly became much more visible in my company and beyond. It’s changed people’s perceptions of me and given me a platform to rally wider change for good.”
If you want to improve your public speaking and gain a whole host of wider benefits at the same time, then our Foundations of Excellent Public Speaking course is a great place to start. We run regular public training courses in London and offer in-house and bespoke public speaking training within companies across the UK, in New York and Europe.
Please get in touch if you’d like more information – we’d love to hear from you.
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